Reactrix Now For Sale

Chris Sheldrake

Well it’s no surprise, especially as we told you on Monday (first and exclusively as always of course) and even hinted weeks back that Reactrix was in trouble to see that parts of it are now up for sale.

MediaWeek was actually only a few days late with the story though which is well worth a read…

Reactrix Up for Sale

Oct 15, 2008
By Katy Bachman

Reactrix, the alternative out of home media company that provides gesture-based interactive advertising opportunities in malls and movie theatres, is on the block.

In receivership, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company retained business consultants Sherwood Partners to “manage the restructuring process and find buyers for the company’s media and technology assets,” Mike Ribero, CEO of Reactrix said Wednesday (Oct. 15) in a prepared statement.

Ribero blamed a weak market for alternative out of home media and the current credit crisis, which made it difficult for the company to obtain debt or equity financing.

Since the company was founded in 2002, Reactrix has had a number of investors including Worldview Technology Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners, and Tim Koogle, the former chairman and CEO of Yahoo!

Sherwood has retained 13 of Reactrix’s key technology employees in the hopes of selling the technology. The company’s deals in malls and with National CineMedia will also remain operational “to help provide a potential acquirer with a smooth transition,” Ribero said.

Despite Reactrix’s financial situation, the company has drawn a number of top advertisers including Coca-Cola, Sony Pictures, Mars, Visa, New Line Cinema, and Subway, among others.

According to the Reactrix, Sherwood is currently in discussion with several potential buyers.

Mike Ribero, CEO of Reactrix may well blame a weak market on his company’s collapse but those of us who have looked closely at the company books will figure that bad management is probably closer to the truth!

It’s not difficult to guess at who might want to buy the remnants of the Mall business – your suggestions on a postcard please, Ed

We would also expect a couple of well known suitors to be attracted to the technology and the technology team.

6 Responses to “Reactrix Now For Sale”

  1. Olivier2f Says:

    Catchyoo !!
    That would make the most sense I guess. Same market, better management, international market but little in the US. Perfect match.

  2. Mr. Bun Bun Says:

    Bad management indeed! Spent more then $110M when you count in the ad revenue. Mike. Ribero should be ashamed of himself and what he did to the company—especially the employees whom he left in a lurch.

  3. EU Says:

    Can you share any numbers (revenues, asking price, how long they’ll last)?

  4. TMTVC Says:

    I don’t think Catchyoo is anywhere close to take over a company like Reactrix. First, as Olivier2f stated; they are NOT in the US and certainly have no knowledge of the US market and if focusing ouside US; – what would be the vaule of Reactrix there??? Secondly, has anyone ever seen a financial statement from Catchyoo? I think it’s a rather modest operation indeed! The Reactrix tech s petty much owned by a Canada based company called GestureTek way before Reaxtrix was even concieved. Reatrix should have focused on it’s core business, namely media sales and not technology ownership which requires a completly different biz model. Further on, software related IP’s are only propely protected in North America. In Asia you will find a sea of different technologies close to or equal to Reactrix available for relatively small investments so the list goes on why Reactrix made a huge misstake pooring it’s investor dollras into the bottomless pit calles R&D.

  5. exRx Says:

    @TMTVC: Wow, it would hard to be more wrong. Well, ok, you’re probably spot-on about Catchyoo.

    GTek did indeed exist before Reactrix, and their tech was just as useless for this purpose back then as it is today. It’s demoware that doesn’t work out in live deployments. The IP needed to make it robust enough to be real was owned by… Reactrix. (This is about using GTek for floor or wall media deployments; they have a lot of good tech for other purposes. GTek is a good company within its sphere of expertise.) Oh, and they “borrowed” from Reactrix, not the other way around.

    As for “pooring it’s investor dollras into… R&D”… uh… you weren’t involved with Reactrix in any way, were you? Rx spent almost nothing on R&D for most of its history, but instead plowed all of its money into the direct media sales business. That’s one thing that’s safe to say about Reactrix: it went all out for media sales. It would have been interesting if it had tried technology ownership instead; Rx did pretty well tech-wise on a very meager investment.

    And finally, Rx did well in its limited attempts in Asia, but was too concerned with pouring all of its money and energy into the media business to properly support those attempts. It’s not about IP “protection”, which is largely useless anywhere even when the legal system backs you up. It’s about whether your stuff works and keeps working. If there’s cash at stake, IP can be worked around somehow, whether you’re in the US or elsewhere. The engineers will find a way to do the same thing in a different way, the lawyers will work something out, somebody will get bought out or crushed, or someone will wake up with a horse’s head on their pillow.

  6. Mr. Bun Bun Says:

    Hey exRx: Mike Ribero should wake up with “the horse’s head on his pillow” for spending money on stuff like first class plane tickets, limos, his daily lunch delivery and Four Seasons hotel stays. They didn’t spend money on R+D they spent money on Mike Ribero who single-handedly brought down the company. GestureTek has it right and is still in business…Reactrix is not.

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